Andrew's Feed
Jul 3, 2012

U.S., Pakistan reach deal to reopen Afghan supply routes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pakistan and the United States reached a deal on Tuesday to reopen land routes that NATO uses to supply troops in Afghanistan, ending a seven-month closure imposed after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO aircraft last November.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. She said in a statement that she had offered “sincere condolences” for the deaths which spurred a major diplomatic rift between the two wary allies.

Jun 30, 2012

Annan urges world to unite on Syria peace plan

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. mediator Kofi Annan warned on Saturday that the conflict in Syria would enflame the Middle East and beyond unless world powers agreed on a peace plan but the United States said foreign ministers meeting in Geneva might fail in that task.

International talks started with governments still in dispute over whether President Bashar al-Assad, reviled in the West for his assault on opponents but still supported by Russia, could have any role in a political transition.

Jun 29, 2012

Russia, U.S. divided on Syria after talks

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Russia said after talks with the United States that there was a chance of world powers finding common ground at a crisis meeting on Syria on Saturday but a U.S. State Department official said differences with Moscow over the conflict remained.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had sensed a change in tone at talks on Friday evening with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a day after Washington rebuffed calls by Moscow for changes to international mediator Kofi Annan’s plan to set up a national unity government in Syria.

Jun 28, 2012

Clinton in Russia to face off on Annan Syria plan

SAINT PETERSBURG (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to raise pressure on Russia on Thursday ahead of a crucial meeting on the Syria crisis, saying all countries involved must back international mediator Kofi Annan’s detailed plan for a political transition.

Clinton arrived in St Petersburg for a meeting on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with their countries deeply divided over Syria and increasingly at odds over everything from anti-missile defense to human rights.

Jun 28, 2012

Clinton presses Latvia to give back Jewish property

RIGA (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Latvia on Thursday to return property to Jewish groups which was seized by the Soviet Union and whose owners were killed by the Nazis, a rare point of tension between Washington and its Baltic ally.

The issue of returning property such as schools, some synagogues and other communal buildings is controversial in Latvia, one of the EU’s poorest states and which is just recovering from a deep crisis. A nationalist minister quit the ruling coalition last week over the issue.

Jun 21, 2012

In first, U.S. adds Boko Haram members to “terrorist” list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday named three alleged leaders of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram as “foreign terrorists,” the first time it has blacklisted members of the Islamist group blamed for attacks across Africa’s most populous nation.

The State Department identified the three as Abubakar Shekau, calling him the “most visible” leader of the group, and Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, who it said were tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda’s north African wing.

Jun 21, 2012

Clinton: China moving on cutting Iran oil imports

WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) – China is moving to cut its
imports of Iranian oil, tracking earlier efforts by countries
such as India, Japan and South Korea which won them exemptions
from tough new U.S. sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said on Wednesday.

The United States has already exempted a number of major
countries from the new sanctions, which it may impose starting
on June 28 as Washington’s most ambitious measure yet to force
Iran to curtail its nuclear program by reducing its oil export
sales.

Jun 19, 2012

Myanmar improves in U.S. slavery rankings as reforms continue

WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) – Myanmar was upgraded in the
annual U.S. global slavery report released on Tuesday, boosted
by the Southeast Asian country’s pledge to outlaw
state-sponsored forced labor as it pursues rapid democratic
reforms.

But the report downgraded Syria, naming it as among the
worst offenders, as President Bashar al-Assad’s government
devotes its energies to violently suppressing widespread popular
protests.

Jun 18, 2012

U.S. warns Egypt’s military on ties after power grab

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States urged Egypt’s military on Monday to move swiftly on plans to transfer full power to an elected civilian government and suggested failure to do so would prompt a review of U.S. ties, which includes billions of dollars in military and civilian aid.

Both the State Department and the Pentagon – which oversees the close military links between the two countries – voiced concerns over moves by Egypt’s generals to tighten their grip on power despite a presidential vote aimed at sealing the country’s democratic future.

Jun 18, 2012

U.S. warns Iran dissidents they must close Iraq camp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States warned an Iranian dissident group on Monday to follow through on plans to close a base in Iraq founded under Saddam Hussein, saying it was “gravely mistaken” to believe there was any other option.

The State Department urged the group, the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK), to resume transferring its members from the Camp Ashraf base to a converted U.S. military facility under an Iraqi government plan to eventually expel them from the country.